The 5 Minute City

Pictured Above: Grant loves to get up, up and away paramotoring, a passion he can continue in Australia with our long beaches and wide landscapes.


We recently caught up with Nyrstar Asset Manager Grant von Horsten for a bit of a chat and his thoughts about living in Port Pirie after moving from Madagascar with his family almost a year ago.  Grant shares his story below…

“Where’s Alstonville you ask? Well, it is between Ballina and Byron Bay and it’s where a good mate of mine lives….and near Ballina the home of the Big Prawn!  Recently, he had the boldness to ask me what on Earth was the attraction with Port Pirie?

Well for starters it’s between Baroota and Port Broughton! But of course, there’s more, so upon some reflection, this is what I told him.”


The Port Pirie Community

“I told him I was becoming engrained within the Pirie community, in a good way.

The Port Pirie community, with arms wide and embracing, has welcomed me and made me feel like part of ‘the family.’

I have lived in many small and remote communities across Australia, South Africa, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea and I can honestly say that my experience of Port Pirie is right up there, close to what I have experienced globally.”

The 5 Minute City

“Pirie offers cultural diversity and a deeper sense of belonging when you discover the cultures within the cultures that Port Pirie has to offer.

Port Pirie is referred to as “the 5-minute city.” It is literally possible to go from home to work within 5 minutes.  In fact, you can go almost anywhere in about 5 minutes.

The 5-minute City comes with added benefits such as being able to embrace a healthy work-life balance, especially if you are as much as a family person and outdoor enthusiast as I am.”

Diversity and Lifestyle – Port Pirie ticks all the boxes!

“Port Pirie ticks all the boxes! It caters for most of my social and sporting needs.  I can participate in tennis, golf, squash, paramotoring, camping and mountain biking just a stone throw away in the beautiful Southern Flinders Ranges. Despite Pirie being on the water’s edge, which is great for the kayakers or fisherman alike, I can also head down the road to the Yorke Peninsula to satisfy my all-time favourite sport, kitesurfing.”

Port Pirie, a Regional Centre with a Big-Hearted Community

“Additionally, Port Pirie offers a variety of good restaurants, shopping, convenience stores, world class sporting precincts, state of the art public library, regional health service and a diversity of public and private primary and secondary schools to choose from.

Despite Port Pirie being South Australia’s first Provincial City with an array of fabulous amenities, Pirie it is still small enough to not lose a sense of community but rather be part of it.

A few examples include:

  • One of the ‘friendly’ coaches from the 24XFit gym who gives that intimidating grin before the 5:45am high intensity workout, knowing how to push me to the limit so my knees wobble back to where they came from;
  • The warm welcome from the staff at “The Fam” Hotel – They have one of my favourite beers on tap (from a selection of over 30 craft beers) and intuitively place an order on my behalf for the rib special – even before I know what I am wanting to order;
  • The fabulous team at Intersport who do the best deal they can on my new tennis racket, squash shoes, gym clothes etc and Mark (the proprietor) bestowed upon me his old hockey stick when he realised I had just taken up the sport;
  • The friendly crew at Jamaica Blue serving up an incredible Brekky;
  • The fantastic bunch of blokes from Saint Mark’s Lions Hockey club. Despite the prerequisite being over 40, our team is agile, and we meet afterwards around the “table of truth” for a beer to reflect on the game and plan our next social evening be it the “curry competition”, “bog off” (spaghetti bolognaise) or the potjie pot play-off (South African camp oven delicacy);
  • Who doesn’t love a great coffee? You can grab a beaut brew from the artisan’s hand – “Shots Fired Barista” and if your fleece needs a trim, pull up a seat at this  entrepreneur’s barber Café next door!;
  • When I needed a hole punched in my belt, and although they did not know me from a bar of soap, the friendly staff at Mensland deftly helped me out – no charge!
  • Port Pirie is known as the “City of Friendly People” and that trait can be found everywhere.”


Drop Anchor, Stay Awhile… Come See Change!

“So, don’t drive pass, drive in off the highway and spend a night or three and take in what Port Pirie has on offer…

There is a saying in Port Pirie “They cry when they come, and they cry when they leave” – meaning… people cry when the learn they are required to relocate to Port Pirie for work…and in having to leave, become emotional, realizing the dear friends and easy going fun lifestyle they’re leaving behind.

Oh – and about the Big Prawn at Ballina….that isn’t a patch on the iconic species of Western King Prawns, harvested with care in our backyard, the pristine Spencer Gulf….so like the sign on the highway says….drop anchor, stay awhile….Come See Change!”



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